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Introducing the Square Baler Classification System

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To support hay producers to be better able to choose the right baler for their operation needs, AGCO and Hesston by Massey Ferguson are introducing a standardized classification system for small and large square balers during the 2017 World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif.  The square baler classification system places balers in Class 1 through Class 8 and clearly defines the capabilities of balers and their most appropriate uses.

You can learn more about this new Square Baler Classification System here.

“Hesston alone offers four models of large square balers ranging from 3’x3’ to 4’x4’ and six small square balers to produce four sizes from 14” x 18” to 16” x 22”,” explains Shaun Allred, marketing manager for hay and forage at Hesston. “Dairy, beef and equine customers, as well as commercial hay and biomass harvesting operations that harvest, store and ship large quantities of material all have different needs in a baler.”

“These classes clearly define the capabilities of the various models from Hesston by Massey Ferguson and Challenger®. The baler classification system will give customers a better understanding of the entire lineup of balers so they can make better purchase decisions,” Shaun Allred continues. “This system is similar to the classification system for combines that uses horsepower ranges to rank the size and productivity of combine harvesters.”

The square baler classification system uses rated plunger load to define each of the eight baler classes. Plunger load was chosen because is the most measurable factor impacting the density of the finished bale.

“Bale density is a key consideration when customers purchase a square baler, because it affects the amount of material in the finished bale; bale weight; stacking, storage and transportation, as well as the productivity and efficiency of the baling process,” Allred points out. “Producers will be able to use this system to choose the baler that fits the crops they harvest, their end-use needs and the baler that optimizes their hay harvesting productivity and efficiency for the best return on investment.”

Rated plunger load is determined by measuring the Kilonewtons (kN) of force on the face of the plunger. One Kilonewton equals 224.8 pounds of force. Load sensors on the plunger arms measure compression of the plunger arms to provide the plunger load rating. Current AGCO customers are familiar with this number because it is displayed on the in-cab monitor as the Load Setting.

Using experience gained from more than 70 years as an industry-leading manufacturer of equipment for producing and harvesting quality forage, the hay experts at Hesston developed clear descriptions of the most appropriate uses for balers within each class. See the below table to learn more about the different classes and the operations each one is ideal for.

 

Class Ideal For: Hesston
Models
Challenger Models Plunger Force (kN) Bale Size Bale Weight* (lbs)
1 Equine Operations
25-1000 acres/year; Individual use or commercial production; Small bale size (50-85 lbs.): easy to handle, transport and feed; Handle individually or with accumulator
MF1836
MF1838
MF1840
CH1838
CH1840
15 to 44 kNs 14″x18″ 50-85 lbs.
2 Equine & Dairy Operations
100-500+ acres/year; Individual or commercial production: equine, small beef or dairy; Small bale size (70-110 lbs.): easy to handle, transport and feed; Handle individually or with accumulator
MF1842 45 to 74 kNs 16″x18″ 70-110 lbs.
3 Equine, Dairy & Export Operations
250-1000+ acres/year; Individual or commercial: equine, beef, dairy & export; Largest, small square bales: (90-140 lbs.) May be hand fed or double pressed for export; Handle with accumulator and forks
MF1844 75 to 199 kNs 15″x22″ 90-140 lbs.
4 Dairy Operations
250-1,000+ acres/year; Individual dairy & beef operations with limited custom baling
MF2250 CH2250 200 to 324 kNs 3’x3′ 700-900 lbs.
5 Dairy & Commercial Operations
250-3,000+ acres/year; Large dairies, commercial hay producers, custom balers & fleet use
MF2270
MF2290
CH2270
CH2290
325 to 449 kNs 3’x4′
4’x4′
1,000-2,000 lbs.
6 Commercial & Biomass Operations
500-3,000+ acres/year; Commercial hay production and crop residue baling
MF2270XD CH2270XD 450 to 574 kNs 3’x4′
4’x4′
1,400-2,000 lbs.
7 Commercial & Biomass Operations
1,000-5,000+ acres/year; Large-scale custom hay and crop residue baling
575 to 749 kNs 3’x4′ 1,400-2,000 lbs.
8 Biomass Operations
1,000-5,000+ acres/year; Large-scale crop residue and biomass baling
750 + kNs 3’x4′ 1,400-2,000 lbs.

 

Get the Free Hesston Guide to Quality Hay

Quality Hay

As so many in the business know, hay is no longer a commodity. The ability to better measure its nutritional value has caused a sea change of sorts in how it’s raised and marketed. That, coupled with an increased need for efficiency in production, has hay producers looking for ever-better methods and equipment to help complete the job. For them we’ve published the Hesston Guide to Quality Hay.

From planting to cutting, baling, raking, storing and much more, we’ve included in this, the first edition of Guide, expert tips from those in the know. Growers, academics, Extension agents, as well as AGCO dealership personnel and product specialists, share their best practices in the articles included herein.

Here are some highlights from the guide:

  • Hay Equipment Maintenance Checklist
  • Baler Safety
  • Caring for Hay Fields
  • Reducing Compaction in Alfalfa Fields
  • Tackling Toxic Weeds
  • Hay Conditioning Tips
  • 4 Best Tips for Storing Hay

The Hesston Guide to Quality Hay is available as a full-color, 33-page PDF or as an eBook for iPad. For a free and instant download, anyone can sign up at myfarmlife.com/haybook. Once you enter your information, you can download the version you prefer or that is best for your device.

It’s often been said that “nobody knows hay like Hesston,®” and through The Hesston Guide to  Quality Hay, it’s our wish to share that knowledge with you, whether you’re a large commercial grower, a landowner with a few acres or fall somewhere in between. At Hesston, our mission is to provide the help hay producers need, because, we sincerely believe, we’re in this together.

Young Farmers: Growing Their Future and Ours

agco blog

Quite possibly better educated and prepared than any generation before them, young producers still face major challenges in getting off the ground. For this FarmLife Special Report, we asked several young farmers about their challenges and goals, then listened as each spoke of hard lessons learned, their passion for farming and hopes for the future.

Three families are featured in profile stories and video interviews: the Skobergs, who grow peas, wheat and canola on Twin Oaks Farm in Lougheed, Alberta; the Robertses, who farm and run a fencing and custom gate business in Pittsylvania County, Virginia; and the Boeres, whose dairy operation is in Modesto, California. Each has a unique story to tell, including the innovative ways they have made a life and a living on the farm.

To go along with the family profiles, the Young Farmers Special Report includes advice from parents, resources to help young and new farmers, a look back at our previous special report and more.

In the article “Raising Farmers,” father Jerry McDonald and son Jon—now a father himself—offer advice on preparing the next generation for a career in agriculture. You’ll also read about how the National Young Farmers Coalition works to connect beginning farmers with resources, such as information on loans and subsidies.

See the entire special report, including video interviews: Young Farmers: Growing Their Future And Ours

Scape & Scrape: Working In Extreme Weather

Brian Fuller plows snow and maintains right-of-ways, the kind of work that is often not seen and/or noticed by most of us. It’s hot, it’s freezing. It’s mind-numbingly tedious. It’s treacherous. And, yes, it’s often overlooked, until he and his crew at Fuller Landscaping clear the way for the rest of us, who might just be stranded otherwise.

Fuller and his crew, who primarily work for the city of Fort Collins, Colo., and the state’s Department of Transportation, have encountered rattlesnakes, cars and trucks piloted by drivers who are texting, and very steep hills. Altogether, it’s a diversified bundle of services that keeps him and up to 10 workers employed. Massey Ferguson

He accomplishes his tasks on the job, on his ranch and on others’ land where he custom bales with several Massey Ferguson® tractors—an MF2605, MF4608 and MF4610 with a cab. Fuller says they perform equally well in each of the ways he uses them.

Again, it’s that combination of services and an industriousness that keeps him and his employees busy throughout the year. It is, however, a fiercely competitive market in which he operates.

“A lot of these guys come in, they low bid this stuff, these contracts, just to get their foot in the door. But they don’t know what it’s about, and [after] about a year to two years and they’re gone.

“I go out and I buy good equipment,” continues Fuller. “I spend the money. For me, to be able to do this 20 years later and still be in it really says something.”

And when asked what else differentiates his company from others in the business, he replies simply, “I think it’s me—I’m at almost every job site … and I think it’s my name. I’m using my last name as the name of the company.” When something’s not done right, he says, it’s pretty obvious who’s responsible.

See the full story and video: Scape & Scrape: Working In Extreme Weather

Seeds Planted, Stories Told: Paul Sailer, Author of “I Had a Comrade”

farm life

What do White Pines and World War II relationships have in common? They’ve both been carefully cultivated by Paul Sailer. Since 1983, Sailer has been successfully planting and harvesting those white pines, Norway pines, balsam firs, eastern larches, white spruces and black spruces on his 85-acre tree farm in Wadena County, Minn.

In addition to harvesting the trees, Sailer has also made good use of the paper they produce by writing historical nonfiction books about fighter pilots flying missions over France and Germany. His latest effort, “I Had a Comrade,” is a study of the lives of the men, their families and even the people caught in the crossfires of battle in Europe.

Sailer came by both vocations honestly. He planted trees on his father’s farm as a boy, and heard many war stories from those who lived it. “My father served with the Eighth Air Force in England during World War II,” he says. “Sitting with me and my siblings on a winter’s night, he would talk about his war experiences while showing us his scrapbook and memorabilia.”

Sailer says he also saw through veterans’ eyes how the war affected rural families. “Many of the young men and women who served in the military and in defense plants came from farming and ranching country. Few returned to rural America.”

After college, Sailer enlisted in the U.S. Army. He flew helicopters for a year in Vietnam. Back home, he’s had a long career in the human services field … and tree farming.

Today, he uses a Massey Ferguson® 2605 and its many attachments for mowing trails, creating fire breaks, removing large rocks, lifting logs and clearing snow in the winter. And while studying the war lives of the Greatest Generation remains a passion, when the weather permits, a perfect evening now is, he says, “Enjoying a cup of coffee with my wife on the front porch of our home as a gentle breeze whispers through the trees we planted all those years ago.”

See the full story and order the book at http://myFarmLife.com/sailer.

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